Recovery after Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is an effective treatment for root canal infections, helping to alleviate dental pain and restore oral health.
Here, Dr. Stephen J. Malki explains what to expect during root canal therapy recovery during consultations at our practice in Bergen County, NJ.
How Long Does Recovery Last?
Recovery after root canal therapy is typically short, with most patients feeling fully recovered within a week of treatment. Some may feel back to normal sooner, typically within a few days of root canal therapy.
Many patients feel ready to return to their normal routine once the anesthesia used during treatment wears off while some may prefer to rest a full day.
Some Discomfort May Be Expected
During root canal therapy, infected nerves and pulp tissues are removed from inside the tooth and the root canal is cleaned. Removing infected nerve tissue can provide immediate relief from dental pain caused by root canal infections. However, some discomfort may be expected after root canal therapy.
It's actually normal to feel some pain, tenderness, or discomfort after root canal therapy, especially once the anesthesia used during the procedure wears off. For most patients, discomfort is mild and usually resolves within a few days of treatment.
Although discomfort may be expected after treatment, it's important to note that the pain or tenderness many patients experience is actually residual pain from the root canal infection itself. Root canal infections can cause the tissues and ligaments surrounding the tooth to become inflamed. Once the infection is treated, it can take a few days for the surrounding tissues to recover and heal.
Pain Management during Recovery
For most patients who experience pain or discomfort after root canal therapy, an over-the-counter pain medication is typically sufficient for managing pain. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, are often recommended as most post-root canal therapy pain is caused by tissue inflammation.
It's also important to avoid chewing on the treated tooth for a day or two after root canal therapy to prevent further swelling and to allow the tissues surrounding the tooth time to heal.
Applying ice packs to the jaw or cheek can also help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. When using an ice pack, be sure not to place the ice pack directly against the skin. Instead, wrap it in a cloth or towel and never apply the ice pack for longer than 20 minutes at time.
Take Antibiotics as Prescribed
Sometimes a root canal infection will spread beyond the tissues within the tooth, affecting the gums and jawbone. In such cases, antibiotics are often prescribed to help treat the infection and restore oral health.
When antibiotics are prescribed during recovery, it is important to take them as directed and to take them for the duration of the prescription to fully treat the infection and decrease the risk of the infection returning.
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene during and after Recovery
Although the gums and surrounding tissue may be sore after root canal therapy, it is important not to skip brushing and flossing throughout recovery and after.
Brushing and flossing regularly is one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay and root canal infections. In order to do so, the teeth should be brushed at least twice a day for two minutes each, and flossed at least once a day.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about root canal therapy and find out if this treatment is right for you, please call (201) 646-0800 to schedule a consultation.